About SWCX

all about south west cyclocross


The SWCX league is intended to be a fun, all-inclusive, supportive but competitive series of CX races for all ages which run on Sundays from September through to January each year. The league constantly strives to improve and the committee welcomes any comments you may have throughout the season. Don’t be shy, get involved!

These notes are designed to give you a general overview of the league and how it operates throughout the season. They are just that, an overview, and there will therefore be information that is specific to each round not covered here. For this seasons updated info check our FAQ’s page

The race organiser of each round will provide any specific additional information (eg. directions, parking, changing facilities etc) on the British Cycling events page specific to their event.

It is hoped that these notes prove useful to newcomers and seasoned campaigners alike.

2021/22 Season

The 2021/2022 SWCX series will aim to provide at least 8 rounds spread throughout Devon, Somerset, Cornwall and Dorset. Please note that the number of rounds may change due to events being cancelled. In the event of any cancellation, riders will be informed as soon as possible by the event organiser via the British Cycling website, Facebook etc. But the league also relies on word of mouth between riders to help spread any news.

Age Categories

The races are open to anyone with categories for male and female riders ranging from Under 8s through to Vet 60+. The races are divided as follows:

Race 1: U8

Race 2: U10s/U12s

Race 3: U14s/U16s/Novice

Race 4: Junior/Seniors/V40/V50 & V60+

The races

The U8s race for 10 – 15 mins on a specially shortened course that allows riders to complete a few laps on a simple course.

The U10s/U12s race for 15 – 20 mins on a slightly longer course. The course will be a little more technical with some ascending and descending.

The U14s/U16s race for 30 mins on a longer course that will be approximately 2/3 the size of the main course. The course will encompass most of the features of the full course, including boards for dismounting and remounting and off camber sections. The Novice riders also ride this course.

The rest will race for 1 hour on the full course that will be between a 2.5km and 3.5km lap. Riders in this race will have a staggered start in 3 groups. Firstly, the Senior and Junior men. Then the Vet 40+ men and the final group will feature the Vet 50+ and Vet 60+ men along with all the women from Juniors right through to Vet 60+.

Race times 

The races are on Sundays and always at the same time (except for the SW Regional Champs).

Race 1: U8s – 10:30am

Race 2: U10/U12s – 11:00am

Race 3: U14/U16s – 12:00pm. Novice 12:01pm

Race 4: Juniors, Seniors, Vet 40, Vet 50 & Vet 60 – 1:30pm

It is recommended that you arrive at least one hour before your race to give you time to get ready, sign on, warm up etc.

Novice riders

At each round, the league holds a Novice event. This is a great way to find out what cyclo-cross is all about and is open to anyone aged 16 or over.

The novice riders start at 12:01 and follow the same course as the Youth riders, riding for approximately 30 minutes. This is all about having fun and there are no league points or positions on offer.

At each event you will be given a white number to wear which you must hand back in before you leave.

You do not require a race license to ride in the novice event.

We ask that you respect the youth riders who are racing for points and positions within the league and that you always give right of way to these young riders.

Basic equipment

The below list is not exhaustive and it is up to you to ensure you come fully prepared but you may like to bring some (all!) of the following:

Spare bike
Spare wheels
Inner tubes
Bike stand
Cleaning stuff
Pressure washer
Water/water tank

Clothing (weather dependent):
Base layer
Bib shorts
Bib tights
Short sleeved jersey
Long sleeved jersey
Warm Jacket
Arm/knee/leg warmer

Other stuff for riders and their supporters:
Race licence
Money (exact change)
Water bottles
Complete change of clothes
Suitable footwear, walking boots, wellies etc.
Folding chair(s)

Please don’t be put off by the above list. To start with you need yourself, a bike and a helmet.
League riders and their supporters are a friendly bunch who are always willing to help newcomers or even seasoned campaigners who have forgotten something.

Race licences

Riders aged 16 and over require a British Cycling race licence or a day licence which can be purchased for £3 at sign on.

Race entry

All races can be entered online using the British Cycling website, up until the Thursday evening before the race on Sunday. Entering online makes sign on quicker, plus it costs less. You can still enter on the day and pay a little more.

Race timing chips

All riders will be issued with a chip and strap for their ankles which will be used to time the race. You will be asked to leave your race licence, or if you don’t have one, a £10 deposit until you return your chip. Please ensure you return your chip before you leave.

Race numbers

For those riders registered with the league you will be able to hold onto your number at the end of each race. You will be issued with two numbers (1) the larger one for your lower back and (2) the smaller one for your shoulder (usually your left but this can depend on which side the lap counters are situated).

The event organiser’s race notes will let you know which shoulder to pin your number on.

Those rider who are not registered for the league must also hand their numbers back at the end of the race.

Registering for the League

Riders are able to register for the league providing them with a number of benefits:

You will be able to earn league points, giving you an overall position within the series;

You will be gridded for safety at the start of each race; and

You will be provided with your own back and arm number to wear throughout the season and to keep at the end.

Registration for the 2019/2020 season is open from 13th June 2019 until midnight on Thursday 8th August 2019. After this date, you will no longer be able to register for the league but you can still ride at the events. You can register on the league 

More information – League Registration

League Points

League points will be allocated to league registered riders depending on finishing position. A minimum of 7 rounds needs to be entered to qualify for a final league position, with a maximum of 9 results counting towards final standings. If you take part in more than 9 rounds, your best 9 results will be counted.

More information – League Rules Explained

End of Season Awards

For information on the end of Season Awards for league registered riders….

More information – Awards & Presentation


League registered riders will be gridded for safety at the start of each race. The gridding for the first event of the season will be based on the final gridding last season.

If you are new to the league and league registration you will start behind the other registered riders. However, if you feel that you should be gridded, please use the contact form providing evidence supporting your request for gridding.

As the season progresses, you will be gridded based on your 2 best results of the season. PLEASE NOTE: League points and gridding apply to league registered riders only.

You should arrive for gridding 10 minutes before the scheduled start time of your race to allow time for the gridding process and rider briefing. If you miss your name due to being late, you will have to slot into next available space in the grid. You may be asked to line either side of the start area, side by side. This is a process used nationally to speed up the gridding process.

The bell

In all races, a bell will sound when the race leader enters their final lap. All riders finish on the same lap as the race leader and will be shown a chequered flag to show that their race has finished. A lapboard will be used throughout the races to show riders how many laps the leader has left.


There will be podium presentations for each race. The U8s, U10s and U12s presentation usually takes place just before midday with the youth presentation normally being around 13.15 and all others following race 4. All these times are subject to the event and you should check when and where the presentations will take place on the day.

Equipment pits

In races for the U12’s, no exchange of equipment is allowed

Races 3 and 4 are provided with an equipment pit, marked with yellow flags. The pits can be used for spare bikes, wheels, pumps etc. Riders from race 4 should not access the pits until after race 3 has finished to allow the youth riders full use of the pit area during their race.

We ask that spectators do not gather within the pit area and only those assisting riders access the pit area during a race. No pressure washers are allowed in the pit area but you can use buckets of water and cleaning equipment.

No ‘Feeding up’ allowed.

‘Feeding up’ refers to the handing of drinks, gels or food to a rider that is on course during the race. It also includes food and bottle left on the floor in the pits. If you feel you may require any drinks or food, you must have them attached to your bike or on your person. Any rider breaching this rule is subject to disqualification.

Club Kit

If you are a Youth or Senior rider and member of a cycling club, you are expected to wear your official club kit while racing. If you are a member of more than one club, you must wear the kit belonging to the club that you used to register to the league. Take this opportunity to represent your club and the sponsors that support them. Commissaires will use their discretion regarding the issue of warnings for those repeatedly not wearing their relevant club kit.

If you are an independent rider you are not permitted to wear any replica team kit.

These rules do not apply to under 12s or novice riders, but if you have a club kit, we would love to see you representing them.

Yellow and Red Flags

New warning flags will come into use this cross season. These flags will be positioned at the pits and the start/finish area but they may also be waved at you by a commissaire out on the course.

Yellow Flag – This will warn you of a potential hazard ahead of you on the course. This may be a rider down, damage to the course or a sudden change in course due to an incident.


Red Flag – In the unlikely event this is shown, please immediately stop the race and await further instruction.


It’s a Family Affair

Please remember that this is a family event. Respect your fellow riders, marshals, commissaires and spectators. Events are run by volunteers who give up their time to put these races on. Any inappropriate behaviour or language may result in further action being taken.

Any rider who has a complaint should direct it to the commissaires within 30 minutes of results being announced.


BBC Spotlight South West came to cover the event at Torbay Velopark

Let us know about your project

Synergestic actionables. Organic growth deep dive but circle back or but what’s the real problem we’re trying to solve here?

Cross is boss!

It’s a popular phrase and for good reason. See what some our racers say about the league events.

“… Synergestic actionables. Organic growth deep dive but circle back or but what’s the real problem we’re trying to solve here?…”

Jane Austin

CEO, Founder

“… Synergestic actionables. Organic growth deep dive but circle back or but what’s the real problem we’re trying to solve here?…”

Jason Johnson

CEO, Founder